The new LaLiga office in the Belgian capital marks the latest such move by the organisation, which operates the top two divisions of Spanish football and now has hubs in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai), South Africa (Johannesburg), Nigeria (Lagos), India (Delhi), the United States (New York), China (Shanghai and Beijing) and Singapore.
“Our presence and office in Brussels is of the utmost importance to us, they are in charge of following very closely the current issues that are debated in the institutions of the European Union and they watch over the strategic interests of competition in Europe,” Tebas said.
Speaking at the opening of the new office, Tebas also discussed LaLiga’s broader development goals. Tebas told the Reuters news agency that LaLiga is looking into the possibility of playing one or two of its 380 matches per season outside Spain, citing the success of the International Champions Cup fixture between Barcelona and Real Madrid, which was held in Miami in July.
“We are thinking about it... the first match abroad would probably be in the United States,” Tebas said, adding he hoped such a match could take place within two years.
The English Premier League has toyed with such an idea. In July, Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore said clubs from the top division of domestic football remained keen on the idea of playing competitive matches abroad, but added that the much derided ‘39th game’ concept is in the past.
The prospect of an extra round of fixtures to be played overseas was first raised in 2008 but proved hugely controversial amongst the English football fraternity. Speaking during the Premier League Asia Trophy pre-season tournament in Hong Kong, Scudamore said that while clubs are interested in staging overseas competitive games, a concept that US major leagues such as the NFL have embraced, logistical issues are likely to curtail any ambition for an international round.